Management of interventional radiology catheters

“Management of interventional radiology catheters has received much less attention in the literature than the techniques of catheter placement. However, this aspect of patient care by interventional radiologists is vitally important in avoiding catheter-related problems.”


“Visceral interventional radiology catheters can be difficult to exchange or remove for a variety of reasons. These reasons include exit of the guide wire through the side holes of the catheter, blockage of the catheter, difficulty unlocking the pigtail, retention of the string after catheter removal, migration of the string ahead of the guide wire, catheter fracture, and snaring of an adjacent stent by the pigtail. Secure fixation of the catheter to the skin is important. A technique that allows secure fixation without direct puncture and suturing of the catheter to the skin is recommended. If a catheter falls out or is inadvertently removed,
access can occasionally be regained and the catheter can be replaced without repuncture. The timing of catheter removal is based on the clinical condition of the patient and the daily output from the catheter.”

Maher MM, et al . Management of visceral interventional radiology catheters: a troubleshooting guide for interventional radiologists. Radiographics. 2002 Mar-Apr;22(2):305-22.

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